Monday, February 27, 2012

A Visit to Wilderness Awareness School

As the final part of our three-part outdoor educator exchange, we headed to the Wilderness Awareness School (WAS) in Duvall, Washington last weekend. Some of us braved the cold and snow (!) in our tents, others stayed cozy in the heated yurt, and all had a great time full of new learning and explorations. We shared many experiences together, including deciphering the complex world of bird language, teaching through storytelling, embarking on adventurous night hikes, and navigating the landscape. Another new experience was all about making fire! Led by a few WAS apprentices, a group of grads learned how to create their own bow drills using found wood in the forest. Three hours whizzed by as we whittled, carved, and singed our creations. Hoping to one day spark a fire using our new tools, we proudly toted them home along with wonderful memories of a great weekend. 

 Building the fire from an ember created by a bow drill (rubbing wood together)
 Tending to the fire
 Julia chopping wood
 Yi-Chuan cutting a piece of wood for his fireboard
 Liz sawing into a piece of cedar
 Stacey creating her fireboard
 Cozy and warm in the Cedar Lodge after a long day

Monday, February 6, 2012

Life as an IslandWood EEC Grad

This weekend, over 70 IslandWood alumni returned to this fabulous place for the IslandWood EEC alumni weekend. It was a chance to reconnect, enjoy delicious food, play trivia, rediscover the winding trails, and much more. This year’s alumni, representing eight different years of graduate students, enjoyed a time of reflection and celebration of life as a grad and beyond.
 Old grads and future (?) grad
 Blair was a great Trivia Night host!
 New discoveries on old trails

As the events unfolded, it was clear that each past class has been very unique: from the class of 2009, who was the first to climb the Canopy Tower, to the class of 2004, who had the highest boy-girl ratio, to the class of 2003, the first to be officially referred to as “EEC Grads.”

Well in our winter quarter as the class of 2012, what will we be known for? Only time will tell. For now, enjoy the slide show below: a visual tour of the experience as an EEC grad from our point of view.